One big happy

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I don’t know what Aleece would say, but for me, one of the most difficult pieces of life is living half a country away from one another. Of course, this was never the plan but how often does life really turn out the way we plan? Seriously? I’d love for you to tell me…

Yesterday many members of our family gathered to celebrate the 4th of July. I don’t know what your family is like but it never fails that when we gather together for a BIG Family gathering, the preparation is something like blowing up a balloon. It seems easy peasy but as “go time” gets closer that balloon gets pretty close to full and inevitably, a little of the stress leaks out. Finally, everyone arrives and our balloon exhales the air it was holding because none of the scurrying mattered quite as much it seemed in the first place. Thats the thing about family, the fanciness doesn’t really matter to them. The most important thing is laughing and hugging each other’s necks and sharing a bowl of ice cream. Go Team Double Vanilla!!!! 

We should pause here to tell the story. Years ago, when we were children…. Aleece do you remember when exactly? A ice cream divide began inside the family. And, lets be honest, we are serious about our ice cream. Anyway, there are currently two camps: Team Double Vanilla (Amy’s team) and Team Bluebell (Aleece’s team). Team Bluebell is the larger team but Team Double Vanilla is scrappy.

Anyway, we enjoyed burgers and ice-cream and all the fun and chaos of large family gatherings until, close to the end of the afternoon, we rolled around to the inevitable telling of the old family stories. These gatherings are comfortable and familiar and woven into the fabric that makes our lives. A few specific memories rise to the surface but mostly, they run together into a whirling, swirling blur of love and life.

Today, I am sitting in the middle of my messy house avoiding the overstuffed suitcases, dishes and piles of laundry and choosing to look at pictures from yesterday. The memories are so alive, I could reach out and touch them but, strangely, they have slipped into the past. Life is like that.

I am notoriously bad at taking pictures, a skill my son has inherited from me. Here is a bit of us from yesterday. All I can think of is how lucky we are to share all this love and laughter and noise with our littles.

Don’t look closely at those tired eyes. Next time we will take the pictures at the beginning of the day.

Be gentle with yourselves today and take a moment to hug someone you love



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